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Ugaga Barite Processing Plant’ll Drive Downstream Barite Mining Industries – Adegbite

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Cross River Barite
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite (middle) commissioning the processing company while others watch in Cross River State.

The Nigerian Federal Government has revealed its commitment to developing downstream barite mining industries through the establishment of a barite processing plant in Ugaga, Yala local government area of Cross River State. The area is known to possess vast quantities of this natural resource.

During the commissioning ceremony of the barite plant on May 11, 2023, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite announced that Ugaga was chosen due to its rich deposits of barite, which are among the highest in the south-south states. Furthermore, its proximity to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where processed barites are required for oil exploration, aligned with Nigeria’s Local Content and Value Addition policy.

Adegbite emphasised that the establishment of the barite processing plant in Ugaga would facilitate easy access for artisanal and small-scale barite miners within the south-south geopolitical zone. They can now conveniently process their barite before transportation and sale.

The minister highlighted that the plant’s operation would contribute to the growth of downstream barite mining industries in Nigeria. He also stated that it would generate increased competitiveness, employment opportunities, and value-added products and services within the barite mining clusters.

Furthermore, the barite processing plant is expected to attract both foreign and local investments, foster the establishment of new start-up companies, and enhance trade performance. It will create higher corporate profits, improve mineral production, and streamline regulations in the mining sector, among other benefits.

The permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade expressed optimism that the commissioning of the barite processing plant would spur capacity development, wealth creation and prosperity in the minerals and metals sector, not only in Ugaga but also across the entire zone and the country as a whole.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by traditional rulers, directors and staff of the ministry, as well as various stakeholders in the mining sector. Mining equipment was also distributed to members of the mining cooperatives present during the occasion.

The establishment of the barite processing plant in Ugaga marks a significant step towards harnessing the potential of the barite mining industry in Nigeria, driving economic growth and fostering local development in the sector.

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